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Preview: The Official Google Blog

The Official Google Blog

Insights from Googlers into our products, technology, and the Google culture.

Last Build Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2018 20:20:00 +0000


Using TensorFlow to keep farmers happy and cows healthyUsing TensorFlow to keep farmers happy and cows healthyCTOCEO

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 20:20:00 +0000

Editor’s Note: TensorFlow, our open source machine learning library, is just that—open to anyone. Companies, nonprofits, researchers and developers have used TensorFlow in some pretty cool ways, and we’re sharing those stories here on Keyword. Today we hear from Yasir Khokhar and Saad Ansari, founders of Connecterra, who are applying machine learning to an unexpected field: dairy farming.

Connecterra means “connected earth.” We formed the company based on a simple thesis: if we could use technology to make sense of data from the natural world, then we could make a real impact in solving the pressing problems of our time.

It all started when Yasir moved to a farm in the Netherlands, near Amsterdam. We had both spent many years working in the technology industry, and realized that the dairy industry was a sector where technology could make a dramatic impact. For instance, we saw that the only difference between cows that produce 30 liters of milk a day and those that produce 10 liters was the animal’s health. We wondered—could technology make cows healthier, and in doing so, help farmers grow their businesses?

That thinking spurred us to start working weekends and evenings on what would eventually become Ida—a product that uses TensorFlow, Google’s machine learning framework, to understand and interpret the behavior of cows and give farmers insights about their herds’ health.

Ida learns patterns about a cow’s movements from a wearable sensor. We use this data to train machine learning models in TensorFlow, and ultimately, Ida can detect activities from eating, drinking, resting, fertility, temperature and more. It’s not just tracking this information, though. We use Ida to predict problems early, detecting cases like lameness or digestive disorders, and provide recommendations to farmers on how to keep their cows healthy and improve the efficiency of their farms. Using these insights, we're already seeing a 30 percent increase in dairy production on our customers’ farms.

By 2050, the world will have 9 billion people, and we need a 60 percent increase in food production to feed them. Dairy farmer assistance is just one example of how AI could be used to help solve important issues like this. And at Connecterra, by using AI to create solutions to big problems, we think technology can make a real impact.

(image) Connecterra is using TensorFlow to help dairy farmers keep their cows healthy and farms running efficiently.

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VMware puts its focus on Android enterpriseVMware puts its focus on Android enterpriseDirector

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 16:00:00 +0000

Over the last year, we’ve added a number of new features to Android's modern management modes to enhance security and simplify deployment for IT admins.

Our partners—leaders in the enterprise mobility ecosystem—haven’t been standing still either. We love to support and recognize the great work they’re doing to help customers adopt Android's latest capabilities.

For example, enterprise mobility management (EMM) partner VMware recently announced it’s shifting the default deployment model in the next major release of the VMware AirWatch console to Android enterprise. Customers that use AirWatch to manage their organization’s Android devices will benefit from our modern APIs that support the work profile and device owner mode.

As VMware notes on its blog, admins can trust the work profile to keep company data separate and secure on employees’ devices. Team members can turn off work apps for those times they want some work-life balance, while also gaining the assurance their personal data remains private. For companies that deploy their own devices, VMware and other partners support our strong and flexible tools for management.

We're excited to see partners like VMware help customers embrace the latest Android has to offer. For those interested, VMware has released a walkthrough guide, which is available in VMware TestDrive, that's a good place for customers to get started.

VMware’s transition to Android enterprise is a great example of how one of our partners is embracing the modern APIs and latest capabilities of our secure and flexible platform. We’re looking forward to seeing further innovations from our partners that will accelerate what businesses can accomplish with enterprise mobility.


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Huawei to integrate Android Messages across their Android smartphone portfolioHuawei to integrate Android Messages across their Android smartphone portfolioHead of RCS

Thu, 18 Jan 2018 03:00:00 +0000

Over the coming months, Huawei will make it even easier for hundreds of millions of people to express themselves via mobile messaging by integrating Android Messages, powered by RCS, across their Android smartphone portfolio.

With Android Messages and RCS messaging, Huawei devices will now offer a richer native messaging and communications experience. Features such as texting over Wi-Fi, rich media sharing, group chats, and typing indicators will now be a default part of the device. Messages from businesses will also be upgraded on Huawei’s devices through RCS business messaging. And Huawei users will be able to make video calls directly from Android Messages through carrier ViLTE and Google Duo.

In addition, to help carriers accelerate deployment of RCS messaging across their networks, we’re collaborating with Huawei to offer the Jibe RCS cloud and hub solution to current and prospective carrier partners, as part of an integrated solution with Huawei's current infrastructure. This will enable a faster process for RCS services so more subscribers can get access to RCS messaging.

Huawei will begin integrating Android Messages across their portfolio in the coming months. For more information, see the following release.

(image) Huawei devices will now offer a richer native messaging and communications experience, powered by RCS and Android Messages

The She Word: going behind hardware design with Ivy RossThe She Word: going behind hardware design with Ivy RossManaging Editor

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 20:35:00 +0000

Editor’s Note: The She Word is a Keyword series all about powerful, dynamic and creative women at Google. Intrigued by the unique aesthetic of Google’s new family of hardware devices released in October, we sat down with the woman who leads the design team: Ivy Ross. In the interview below, she shares with us how she approaches design at work, and life outside of work. How do you explain your job at a dinner party?I lead a team that creates how a Google product—including Google Home, the Pixel laptop and wearables—looks, feels and acts when you hold it in your hands.What advice would you give to women starting out in their careers?Be fearless in using your heart and mind in what you do, and bring more beauty into the world. Who has been a strong female influence in your life?My daughter. Seeing the world through her eyes at various stages of her life has given me a “beginner’s mind” in much of what I do.What did you want to be when you grew up? I’ve always wanted to be a designer/maker. My dad, who had a big influence on me, was an industrial designer and built the house I grew up in—the house was so ahead of its time that Andy Warhol used it to shoot a movie back in the late 70’s.When I was 12 years old, I made a dress out of chain mail metal and wore it to a bar mitzvah. I linked together thousands of metal squares that made up the dress, designed a necklace that attached to the dress, and made a purse out of the chain mail to match. Even back then, I was designing for efficiency! Instead of bringing needle and thread in case the dress ripped, I carried a screwdriver. Ivy in her homemade dress (screwdriver not pictured). What is one habit that makes you successful?Trusting my instincts on both people and ideas.How is designing hardware different than designing software? Unlike software, you can’t fix hardware through a new release or update. You need more time up front because once something is tooled, you can make very few adjustments.What is the most important design principle for Google’s hardware? Human. By that I mean friendly, emotionally-appealing and easy to fit into your life and your home. I believe more time we spend in front of flat screens, the more we’ll crave soft and tactile three-dimensional shapes. This is reflected in the fabric in Home Mini, Home Max and Daydream View, the texture of Pixel phones and Pixel Books, and the soft silicon pad where you rest your wrist while typing on the PixelBook. Shot_4_0168_FPO1 (1).jpg Color swatches for Google Home Mini DesignStory_Phone_Table_T_034_FPO1_retouched (1).jpg Iterations of Pixel 2 DesignStory_Phone_Cases_T_073_FPO1_SIMP_retouched (1).jpg Testing fabrics for Pixel cases DesignStory_Eve_Table_T_030_FPO1_SIMP_retouched (1).jpg Iterations of Pixelbook and Pixelbook Pen img7.jpg [...]

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Exploring art (through selfies) with Google Arts & CultureExploring art (through selfies) with Google Arts & CultureProduct Manager

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:50:00 +0000

The Google Arts & Culture platform hosts millions of artifacts and pieces of art, ranging from prehistory to the contemporary, shared by museums across the world. But the prospect of exploring all that art can be daunting. To make it easier, we dreamt up a fun solution: connect people to art by way of a fundamental artistic pursuit, the search for the self … or, in this case, the selfie.We created an experiment that matches your selfie with art from the collections of museums on Google Arts & Culture—and over the past few days, people have taken more than 30 million selfies. Even if your art look-alike is a surprise, we hope you discover something new in the process. (By the way, Google doesn't use your selfie for anything else and only keeps it for the time it takes to search for matches.) That’s me, Michelle, the product manager for this feature! We're so happy people are enjoying their selfie matches, but we're even happier that people haven't stopped with the selfie. They’ve jumped—face first—into the 6,000 exhibitions hosted on Google Arts & Culture, from more than 1,500 museum partners from 70 countries, to explore their artwork and learn about their stories.Here are some of the most-visited works of art people explored while searching with their selfies: Capture d’écran 2018-01-16 à 20.04.45.png Street Art painting by BToy from Street Art 13, painted in Paris, France Capture d’écran 2018-01-16 à 20.05.14.png Simplon Pass by John Singer Sargentfrom Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, U.S. Capture d’écran 2018-01-16 à 20.05.42.png By the Table by Henri Fantin-Latour from Musée d’Orsay, Paris Capture d’écran 2018-01-16 à 20.06.09.png Peasants by David Alfaro Siqueiros from Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico Capture d’écran 2018-01-16 à 20.06.35.png Female Figure by Santiago Rusiñol from Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya - MNAC, Barcelona Capture d’écran 2018-01-16 à 20.07.18.png Four Figures on a Step by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo from Kimbell Art Museum Capture d’écran 2018-01-16 à 20.07.40.png Strolling along the Seashore by Joaquín Sorolla from Museo Sorolla Capture d’écran 2018-01-16 à 20.08.11.png Self Portrait by Amrita[...]

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Bill Protection on Project Fi: data when you need it, and savings when you don’tBill Protection on Project Fi: data when you need it, and savings when you don’tProduct Manager, Project Fi

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 17:00:00 +0000

With Project Fi, we built our $10/GB “pay for what you use” pricing to put you in control of your phone plan and how much you pay for it. Today, we’re taking the next step in that journey with Bill Protection: a new take on a phone plan that combines the simplicity of our existing pricing with the flexibility of an unlimited plan. Data when you need itBill Protection gives you the peace of mind to use extra data when you need it. In months when you use more than 6 GB of data, we’ll cap your charges for calls & texts plus data at $80, and allow you to continue using high speed data for free—similar to an unlimited plan. Bill Protection kicks in at different usage points based on the number of people on your plan, and you can see how it would work for your group here.If you’re a super heavy data user, you’ll experience slower data speeds in months when you’ve consumed more than 15 GB of data (less than 1% of current Fi users today). But as always, you’ll have the power to customize your plan, and you can opt out of slower speeds by paying $10/GB for your individual data usage above 15 GB. Never pay for data you don’t useAnd here’s the kicker: with Bill Protection you’ll never have to pay for unlimited data in months when you don’t actually need it. If you only use 1.4 GB of data, at the end of the month you’ll pay just $34 instead of $80. So no matter how much data you use, you can save money with Bill Protection every month.  All the data you need for the Project Fi perksFinally, Bill Protection still applies to all of the Project Fi goodies you love, including high speed data in 135+ countries, and data-only SIM cards to use in your laptop, tablet or car. If you’re traveling abroad, that means you can use all of the apps you need—there’s no need to stress about the extra data. Bill Protection begins rolling out today to individual subscribers and group plans. If you’re a current Fi subscriber, you’ll see it appear on your next billing cycle. For those not yet signed up for Fi, we’re making it easier to try it out by offering up to $120 off some of our Fi-ready phones for a limited time.[...]Introducing a phone plan that saves you money no matter how you use your data.

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Introducing the security center for G Suite—security analytics and best practices from GoogleIntroducing the security center for G Suite—security analytics and best practices from GoogleProduct Manager, G SuiteGroup Product Manager, G Suite

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:00:00 +0000

We want to make it easy for you to manage your organization’s data security. A big part of this is making sure you and your admins can access a bird’s eye view of your security—and, more importantly, that you can take action based on timely insights.Today, we’re introducing the security center for G Suite, a tool that brings together security analytics, actionable insights and best practice recommendations from Google to empower you to protect your organization, data and users.With the security center, key executives and admins can do things like:1. See a snapshot of important security metrics in one place. Get insights into suspicious device activity, visibility into how spam and malware are targeting users within your organization and metrics to demonstrate security effectiveness—all in a unified dashboard. 2. Stay ahead of potential threats. Admins can now examine security analytics to flag threats. For example, your team can have visibility into which users are being targeted by phishing so that you can head off potential attacks, or when Google Drive files trigger DLP rules, you have a heads up to avoid risking data exfiltration. 3. Reduce risk by adopting security health recommendations.Security health analyzes your existing security posture and gives you customized advice to secure your users and data. These recommendations cover issues ranging from how your data is stored, to how your files are shared, as well as recommendations on mobility and communications settings.   Get startedMore than 3.5 million organizations rely on G Suite to collaborate securely. If you’re a G Suite Enterprise customer, you’ll be able to access the security center within the Admin console automatically in the next few days. These instructions can help admins get started and here are some security best practices to keep in mind.If you’re new to G Suite, learn more about about how you can collaborate, store and communicate securely.[...]A new way to keep track of your data security.

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Cloud AutoML: Making AI accessible to every businessA new way to experience Daydream and capture memories in VRVP

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 19:15:00 +0000

When we both joined Google Cloud just over a year ago, we embarked on a mission to democratize AI. Our goal was to lower the barrier of entry and make AI available to the largest possible community of developers, researchers and businesses.Our Google Cloud AI team has been making good progress towards this goal. In 2017, we introduced Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine, to help developers with machine learning expertise easily build ML models that work on any type of data, of any size. We showed how modern machine learning services, i.e., APIs—including Vision, Speech, NLP, Translation and Dialogflow—could be built upon pre-trained models to bring unmatched scale and speed to business applications. Kaggle, our community of data scientists and ML researchers, has grown to more than one million members. And today, more than 10,000 businesses are using Google Cloud AI services, including companies like Box, Rolls Royce Marine, Kewpie and Ocado.But there’s much more we can do. Currently, only a handful of businesses in the world have access to the talent and budgets needed to fully appreciate the advancements of ML and AI. There’s a very limited number of people that can create advanced machine learning models. And if you’re one of the companies that has access to ML/AI engineers, you still have to manage the time-intensive and complicated process of building your own custom ML model. While Google has offered pre-trained machine learning models via APIs that perform specific tasks, there's still a long road ahead if we want to bring AI to everyone.To close this gap, and to make AI accessible to every business, we’re introducing Cloud AutoML. Cloud AutoML helps businesses with limited ML expertise start building their own high-quality custom models by using advanced techniques like learning2learn and transfer learning from Google. We believe Cloud AutoML will make AI experts even more productive, advance new fields in AI and help less-skilled engineers build powerful AI systems they previously only dreamed of.Our first Cloud AutoML release will be Cloud AutoML Vision, a service that makes it faster and easier to create custom ML models for image recognition. Its drag-and-drop interface lets you easily upload images, train and manage models, and then deploy those trained models directly on Google Cloud. Early results using Cloud AutoML Vision to classify popular public datasets like ImageNet and CIFAR have shown more accurate results with fewer misclassifications than generic ML APIs.Here’s a little more on what Cloud AutoML Vision has to offer:Increased accuracy: Cloud AutoML Vision is built on Google’s leading image recognition approaches, including transfer learning and neural architecture search technologies. This means you’ll get a more accurate model even if your business has limited machine learning expertise.Faster turnaround time to production-ready models: With Cloud AutoML, you can create a simple model in minutes to pilot your AI-enabled application, or build out a full, production-ready model in as little as a day.Easy to use: AutoML Vision provides a simple graphical user interface that lets you specify data, then turns that data into a high quality model customized for your specific needs. AutoML VR180 cameras are simple and designed for anyone to use, even if they’ve never tried VR before. There are other consumer VR cameras available today, but you have to think carefully about where you place these cameras when recording, and they capture flat 360 footage that doesn’t create a realistic sense of depth. In contrast, with VR180 cameras, you just point and shoot to take 3D photos and videos of the world in stunning 4K resolution. The resulting imagery is[...]